Cracking the last-mile in delivery to the world’s trouble spots

Posted: 31. May 2016-Likes: 0-Comments: 0-Categories: Ikke kategoriseret
Last mile billede

Cracking the last-mile delivery to the world’s trouble spots

Every day Damco deliver essential supplies to the world’s trouble spots. It is not always the 7,000 miles ocean journey that represents the biggest challenge, but rather the inland delivery in complex environments that provides both political and physical barriers. Get an insight into how Damco handles such last-mile delivery challenges right here.

The sun is burning in the sky, the air is dry and it is 40 degrees. At the orphanage in Juba in South Sudan food supplies are low and there is not enough food for all the home’s children. Currently one child a day dies from hunger. Every day new children arrive at the orphanage, fleeing their homes because of the yearlong conflict in the country. The orphanage desperately needs food, medicine and clothing. However, it is difficult to get the necessary supplies in line with the increasing need because of the legal restrictions that Sudan is subject to by the UN. Only a few carriers are allowed to deliver to the orphanage, and therefore it is difficult to find a partner who can manage the last-mile delivery of essential supplies.

This is what a typical scenario could look like, when Damco delivers emergency aid to Africa in cooperation with international relief organizations. However, delivery to the world’s trouble spots may also involve delivery of equipment, vehicles and manpower to military operations around the world, and include many other barriers than legal, says Mads Drejer, Chief Commercial Officer at Damco Nordics:

“There may be physical barriers. Is it physically possible to deliver to the crisis area, for example if there are no established roads? There are also customs barriers. Do you have customs permission to enter the country with your supplies? Because of these barriers, time is also an element. Time progresses easily in relation to the barriers, and that is critical at such supplies, which have to be delivered fast.”

Planning, cooperation and people with the right mindset are key factors in order to solve such last-mile delivery challenges.

Read more: Does your track & trace live up to consumer demands?


You have to like the fact that things can go wrong
Delivery to the world’s trouble spots require employees and partners with an emergency mindset according to Mads Drejer:

“An emergency mindset means that you are available 24/7 and requires that you like challenges. You

Mads Drejer fritlagt 400x400

Cultural understanding is also an important factor to master in delivery to the world’s trouble spots according to Mads Drejer, Chief Commercial officer at Damco Nordics.

almost have to like the fact that things can go wrong. Our employees must possess this mindset and find reliable partners across countries both internally and externally. Partners who can be our extended arm, and who we can continue to use. Planning is also an important parameter. We plan well in advance and during the process together with our customers. It is also important to have a plan B. We always have a plan B, because it is rare that things go according to plan A.” Mads Drejer explains that they at Damco use the experiences from delivering to the world’s trouble spots in other delivery situations also:

“We always try to have a plan B at our other customers. It helps to ensure high quality in deliveries, if things do not go as planned. We also transfer parts of the emergency mindset into other parts of the business, because it makes us proactive and responsive to any challenges. Finally, we also gain insight into markets that we can benefit from at other customers for example customers in the retail and lifestyle industry who wants to establish themselves in new markets such as Africa.

At Nordic Delivery Conference 2016 Thomas Kongsted, Head of Special Operations at Damco, spoke about delivery to the world’s trouble spots, and what it requires of Damco from a logistics point of view.

Watch a video clip from Damco’s presentation at #NDC16 here:


  • Damco is a part of Maersk Group, one of the leading providers of freight and supply chain management services.
  • Damco delivers military equipment, planned emergency aid and disaster relief to the world’s trouble spots.
  • Thomas Kongsted from Damco is speaking about delivery to the world’s trouble spots at Nordic Delivery Conference 9 June 2016 in Copenhagen. Read about him and his presentation here.
  • Nordic Delivery Conference is the yearly conference for people, who want to turn delivery into a competitive for their business. Read more and sign up free here.
  • The conference is hosted by Delivery Management software company Consignor.

Text by: Consignor,